Peterborough, United Kingdom
Peterborough, United Kingdom

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Sutherland W.J.,University of Cambridge | Broad S.,TRAFFIC International | Caine J.,British Geological Survey | Clout M.,University of Auckland | And 20 more authors.
Trends in Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2016

This paper presents the results of our seventh annual horizon scan, in which we aimed to identify issues that could have substantial effects on global biological diversity in the future, but are not currently widely well known or understood within the conservation community. Fifteen issues were identified by a team that included researchers, practitioners, professional horizon scanners, and journalists. The topics include use of managed bees as transporters of biological control agents, artificial superintelligence, electric pulse trawling, testosterone in the aquatic environment, building artificial oceanic islands, and the incorporation of ecological civilization principles into government policies in China. This is the seventh annual horizon scan. A team of 24 horizon scanners, researchers, practitioners, and journalists identified 15 issues following widespread consultation and a Delphi-like process to select the most suitable.The issues were wide ranging but included artificial superintelligence, changing costs of energy storage and consumptive models, and ecological civilization policies in China. © 2015 The Authors.


Pocock M.J.O.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | Newson S.E.,British Trust for Ornithology | Henderson I.G.,British Trust for Ornithology | Peyton J.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | And 31 more authors.
Journal of Applied Ecology | Year: 2015

Biodiversity is changing at unprecedented rates, and it is increasingly important that these changes are quantified through monitoring programmes. Previous recommendations for developing or enhancing these programmes focus either on the end goals, that is the intended use of the data, or on how these goals are achieved, for example through volunteer involvement in citizen science, but not both. These recommendations are rarely prioritized. We used a collaborative approach, involving 52 experts in biodiversity monitoring in the UK, to develop a list of attributes of relevance to any biodiversity monitoring programme and to order these attributes by their priority. We also ranked the attributes according to their importance in monitoring biodiversity in the UK. Experts involved included data users, funders, programme organizers and participants in data collection. They covered expertise in a wide range of taxa. We developed a final list of 25 attributes of biodiversity monitoring schemes, ordered from the most elemental (those essential for monitoring schemes; e.g. articulate the objectives and gain sufficient participants) to the most aspirational (e.g. electronic data capture in the field, reporting change annually). This ordered list is a practical framework which can be used to support the development of monitoring programmes. People's ranking of attributes revealed a difference between those who considered attributes with benefits to end users to be most important (e.g. people from governmental organizations) and those who considered attributes with greatest benefit to participants to be most important (e.g. people involved with volunteer biological recording schemes). This reveals a distinction between focussing on aims and the pragmatism in achieving those aims. Synthesis and applications. The ordered list of attributes developed in this study will assist in prioritizing resources to develop biodiversity monitoring programmes (including citizen science). The potential conflict between end users of data and participants in data collection that we discovered should be addressed by involving the diversity of stakeholders at all stages of programme development. This will maximize the chance of successfully achieving the goals of biodiversity monitoring programmes. The ordered list of attributes developed in this study will assist in prioritizing resources to develop biodiversity monitoring programmes (including citizen science). The potential conflict between end users of data and participants in data collection that we discovered should be addressed by involving the diversity of stakeholders at all stages of programme development. This will maximize the chance of successfully achieving the goals of biodiversity monitoring programmes. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Applied Ecology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Ecological Society.


PubMed | Center for Conservation Science, British Geological Survey, Fauna and Flora International, University of Siena and 17 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Trends in ecology & evolution | Year: 2016

This paper presents the results of our seventh annual horizon scan, in which we aimed to identify issues that could have substantial effects on global biological diversity in the future, but are not currently widely well known or understood within the conservation community. Fifteen issues were identified by a team that included researchers, practitioners, professional horizon scanners, and journalists. The topics include use of managed bees as transporters of biological control agents, artificial superintelligence, electric pulse trawling, testosterone in the aquatic environment, building artificial oceanic islands, and the incorporation of ecological civilization principles into government policies in China.


Haddaway N.R.,Royal Swedish Academy Of Sciences | Woodcock P.,JNCC | Macura B.,University of Padua | Macura B.,Bangor University | Collins A.,Imperial College London
Conservation Biology | Year: 2015

Review articles can provide valuable summaries of the ever-increasing volume of primary research in conservation biology. Where findings may influence important resource-allocation decisions in policy or practice, there is a need for a high degree of reliability when reviewing evidence. However, traditional literature reviews are susceptible to a number of biases during the identification, selection, and synthesis of included studies (e.g., publication bias, selection bias, and vote counting). Systematic reviews, pioneered in medicine and translated into conservation in 2006, address these issues through a strict methodology that aims to maximize transparency, objectivity, and repeatability. Systematic reviews will always be the gold standard for reliable synthesis of evidence. However, traditional literature reviews remain popular and will continue to be valuable where systematic reviews are not feasible. Where traditional reviews are used, lessons can be taken from systematic reviews and applied to traditional reviews in order to increase their reliability. Certain key aspects of systematic review methods that can be used in a context-specific manner in traditional reviews include focusing on mitigating bias; increasing transparency, consistency, and objectivity, and critically appraising the evidence and avoiding vote counting. In situations where conducting a full systematic review is not feasible, the proposed approach to reviewing evidence in a more systematic way can substantially improve the reliability of review findings, providing a time- and resource-efficient means of maximizing the value of traditional reviews. These methods are aimed particularly at those conducting literature reviews where systematic review is not feasible, for example, for graduate students, single reviewers, or small organizations. © 2015, Society for Conservation Biology.


PubMed | University of Padua, Royal Swedish Academy Of Sciences, JNCC and Imperial College London
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Conservation biology : the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology | Year: 2016

Review articles can provide valuable summaries of the ever-increasing volume of primary research in conservation biology. Where findings may influence important resource-allocation decisions in policy or practice, there is a need for a high degree of reliability when reviewing evidence. However, traditional literature reviews are susceptible to a number of biases during the identification, selection, and synthesis of included studies (e.g., publication bias, selection bias, and vote counting). Systematic reviews, pioneered in medicine and translated into conservation in 2006, address these issues through a strict methodology that aims to maximize transparency, objectivity, and repeatability. Systematic reviews will always be the gold standard for reliable synthesis of evidence. However, traditional literature reviews remain popular and will continue to be valuable where systematic reviews are not feasible. Where traditional reviews are used, lessons can be taken from systematic reviews and applied to traditional reviews in order to increase their reliability. Certain key aspects of systematic review methods that can be used in a context-specific manner in traditional reviews include focusing on mitigating bias; increasing transparency, consistency, and objectivity, and critically appraising the evidence and avoiding vote counting. In situations where conducting a full systematic review is not feasible, the proposed approach to reviewing evidence in a more systematic way can substantially improve the reliability of review findings, providing a time- and resource-efficient means of maximizing the value of traditional reviews. These methods are aimed particularly at those conducting literature reviews where systematic review is not feasible, for example, for graduate students, single reviewers, or small organizations.


Musgrove A.J.,Bto Inc. | Austin G.E.,Bto Inc. | Hearn R.D.,WWT | Holt C.A.,Bto Inc. | And 2 more authors.
British Birds | Year: 2011

In total, over 12.5 million waterbirds occur in Britain during the winter. Estimates of the numbers of non-breeding waterbirds visiting Britain are important for the birds' conservation, both for status assessments and for the identification and designation of nationally and internationally important sites. This paper collates data from a wide range of sources, principally for the period 2004/05 to 2008/09, and produces estimates for 92 different species or populations, some using novel analytical methods developed by the authors. For 15 species or populations, formal estimates of wintering numbers are presented for the first time.The estimates demonstrate that species such as Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta, Gadwall Anas strepera and, especially, Little Egret Egretta garzetta have increased substantially in the last decade, while others, such as Greenland White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons flavirostris, Dunlin Calidris alpina and Common Pochard Aythya ferina, have declined markedly.


Musgrove A.,Bto Inc. | Aebischer N.,GWCT | Eaton M.,RSPB | Hearn R.,WWT | And 5 more authors.
British Birds | Year: 2013

Population estimates of birds have a wide range of practical conservation uses, as well as being of enduring interest to many birdwatchers. Following previous reports by the Avian Population Estimates Panel, in 1997 and 2006, we present the third collation of population estimates of birds in Great Britain and the United Kingdom. There are now thought to be about 84 million breeding pairs of birds in the UK. The ten commonest species contribute 57% of this total, with Wren Troglodytes troglodytes alone providing one in ten of our breeding birds. In all, 23 species exceed one million breeding pairs. The individual population estimates come from a wide variety of sources, many from extrapolation of previous estimates by recognised trend measures, others from new surveys and novel analytical approaches developed since the last report. Despite the exceptional level of detail available for some species, many gaps in our knowledge remain. Recommendations are made to allow a continuing improvement in our understanding of the numbers of birds in GB and the UK. There are many opportunities for volunteer and amateur birdwatchers to make a significant contribution. © British Birds 2013.


Ellis N.,JNCC
Proceedings of the Geologists' Association | Year: 2011

Geoconservation - protecting, managing and enhancing natural geological features and materials, and geomorphological landforms and processes - is especially important in Great Britain, a place sometimes described as the 'cradle' of the science of geology. For such a small area of land, Britain has an unusually diverse geological make-up, with rocks from every geological period present. Many stratigraphical terms used internationally were devised here, and British sites provide key study areas where important new geological theories were developed in the pioneering era of the Earth sciences. Therefore, with such a wealth of geology, and Britain's seminal place in the science itself, it is particularly important to conserve and protect key localities here for future generations. A first step in that process is the auditing of the geology and geomorphology of Britain, by carrying out a scientific evaluation exercise according to standard criteria, and creating an inventory of the most important sites for science. In the mid-1970s, the Nature Conservancy Council (NCC) began an ambitious programme for assessment and documentation of the most important sites for the scientific study of geology and geomorphology in Great Britain, building on previous statutory site conservation activity that had already been started in 1949 by the former Nature Conservancy. As a result, the 'Geological Conservation Review' (GCR) was formally launched in 1977. The GCR was a world-first project of its type in the systematic assessment of the whole geological heritage of a country, from first principles. Widespread consultation with geologists and geomorphologists across Great Britain was co-ordinated; their guidance and involvement was a key component of the site selection process. Almost 3000 nationally or internationally important sites had been selected for around 100 site-selection categories for the GCR register by 1990. Almost all the GCR sites are now conserved under British law as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), the GCR information providing the scientific evidence-base that underpins that designation. As part of the site-selection process - which is still active - a considerable archive of information about geological sites was amassed. A major publication exercise detailing all the GCR sites in what was to become the GCR Series of books was devised early on in the GCR programme. Thirty-six volumes of the GCR Series have been seen to completion by NCC and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, and many GCR site reports have been many made freely available on the World Wide Web. As a new venture, the remaining nine volumes will now be published by Elsevier Science Publishers as Special Issues of the Proceedings of the Geologists' Association. Each GCR volume includes an overview of the subject and outlines the history of study of the relevant branch of the Earth sciences, but most importantly contains detailed accounts of the features of geological importance in the sites described. A scientific interpretation is provided for each site account, which includes supportive illustrations, tables and photographs and an extensive reference list. The GCR rationale, methods and information resource have been invaluable in almost every aspect of geoconservation carried out in Britain, including World Heritage Site nominations, protection of stratotypes, justifying the scientific conservation value of sites at Public Inquiries, in stimulating geological research and in providing a readily available information resource for local, regional, national and international geoconservation activities. © 2011 The Geologists' Association.

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